|Micah Seely is a first time retail owner and operator of Volunteer Pools & Spas in Fairview, Tennessee. Opening the retail location at 1857 Fairview Boulevard in 2011 was the culmination of a dream for Seely and his business partner, Forrest Trotter. Both Seely and his business partner, Forrest Trotter, have over 30 years’ experience in the pool and spa industry.
Volunteer Pools & Spas is new to Nordic Hot Tubs, having just become a Dealer Partner in 2016. Rusty Hendges, Regional Sales Manager for this territory states, “With their experience and knowledge of the industry, Micah and the Volunteer Team is a great addition to the Nordic Dealer Network in the Southwest Nashville area.” In addition to the Nordic Hot Tub line Volunteer Pools & Spas offers pool supplies, awning, outdoor kitchens, grills and all the accessories their customers need to make a backyard a personal oasis.
Seely is a firm believer in serving his customers and local community with great customer service before, during and after the sale. “We are locally owned and operated with all local employees” he states. “We have an outstanding service department and sales staff. Plus, our Service Techs have over 30 years industry experience!”
New businesses face daunting challenges, as Seely and Trotter well know. “We face the typical new business obstacles,” states Seely. “But, we are experiencing consistent growth and community support!” he quickly adds. He and Trotter are still tweaking their product lineup to determine which mix is the best for their store.
Another challenge Seely has faced is staffing. “It took us a while to put together a great team of employees” says Seely. He is confident that he currently has the best team in place and knows 2017 is going to be a strong year for them. “I’m looking forward to continued growth throughout the next year” states Seely. “There is also a possibility of relocating to a larger facility to expand our outdoor living section!”
Seely is happy with his decision to bring in the Nordic Hot Tub line to his showroom. “My favorite things about Nordic are simplicity and quality of the product at affordable prices. Oh, and the fact they are made in the USA!” he adds.
Beginning a new business has taught Seely to tune in to what his customers are saying. He gives this advice to other dealers, “Listen to customers’ needs and match the product to those needs.” Putting this advice into practice has allowed him the growth that he and Trotter have enjoyed at Volunteer Pools & Spas. Seely goes on to say, “All sales staff should be hot tub owners to better relate to their customers’ needs and wants!” He is well aware that a knowledgeable sales staff is a strong sales staff that will produce steady sales.
Seely and the Volunteer Pool & Spa Sales Team can be reached through the website or on Facebook.
|In 1975, Ken and Pam Uhler began a fledgling pool company in their garage in Ashland, Ohio. Forty-one years and 2 generations later, Family Pools has expanded to 2 locations, one in Ashland and the second in Wooster.
Mary Pheneger, one of the Uhler’s two daughters and the Store Manager of the Ashland location, is very proud of how Family Pools has evolved. “Dad and mom began working out of the garage and now we have 3 generations working in our 2 locations and we have 11 employees.” Pheneger’s sister, Becky Macar, manages the Wooster location.
Over the years, Family Pools diversified the products they carry and install. Realizing that hot tubs and other products sold well in addition to pools, they have added multiple products that help to turn a backyard into a private oasis. Some of the products they sell and install are in-ground and above-ground pools, hot tubs, saunas, toys, games and chemicals.
Pheneger knows that what sets Family Pools apart from the competition is their customer care. She states, “We take the time to teach our customers about water care – we begin our relationship there.” To keep the level of customer care high, they offer off-season training to their sales team. Pheneger knows that an educated team is one of Family Pools’ best assets. “We have always had a caring staff and because of that we have lasting relationships with our customers.”
Over the years, Pheneger has weathered the ups and downs of being in business. “Obviously, the economy changing is a big one” she states. “Staff loss can also be hard.” In addition, she finds that keeping on top of the programs they offer can be challenging. “But, we work very well to overcome our fears and keep things going smoothly!” she adds.
One of the things Pheneger is looking forward to is strong hot tub sales. Family Pools has just come off the Fair season where they had a great presence. “That really helped to promote us and keep our market up” says Pheneger. She is also very excited to be able to deliver the sold tubs with the new trailer they purchased.
Family Pools has been a Nordic Dealer Partner for almost 10 years. Pheneger is very pleased with the quality of the Nordic products and support. “The dealer support we get from Nordic, as far as servicing is top quality!” she states.
When asked what advice she would give to other dealers, Pheneger responds, “I LOVE selling hot tubs! So, my advice is to love what you are doing and have a passion about it!” She goes on to say, “Give your customers what they are looking for.”
The Family Pools Sales Team can be contacted through the website and they are also on Facebook!
|Starting as a decorative concrete company in 2000, Signature Pool & Spas has grown into a successful pool and spa company. While working on pool aprons and concrete walkways, Brian and Kelly Clarke realized they had all the skills to become ‘dream specialists’ and create a little piece of paradise in their customers’ backyards. So, as the new millennium began, they began their new business venture, Signature Pools & Spas in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
In 2005, the Clarkes made the decision to add a retail component to the business by bringing in hot tubs and grills to round out their product line. Kelly feels that being a ‘one-stop’ pool and spa shop is what sets Signature apart from the competition. “We can do everything for the backyard, from building the pool, patio and hot tub, to low voltage lighting.” She adds, “We can even do the plantings if that’s what the customer wants done!”
One of the biggest challenges Clarke faces in business today is staffing. She states, “In a small business we seek out people that want to work and want to stay with the company even if winter layoffs happen. We take good care of our employees but when you get that one ‘glowing star’ you do a little extra for them!”
This year has been a very busy year for Signature Pools & Spas which is a good thing. However, Clarke’s second largest challenge is not having enough time to accomplish what has to be done throughout the day. “Can we just add an 8th day?” she quips.
For the rest of this year and into the next, Clarke’s vision for Signature is focusing on continuing their growth as she states, “We are looking forward to more growth, more sales and happy customers.”
Signature Pools & Spas has been a Nordic Dealer Partner since 2010. Clarke states they looked at a lot of products but found Nordic to be the best fit for Signature. “My favorite thing about Nordic is the Warranty,” states Clarke. She is also very pleased with how she feels Nordic listens to dealers. “My second favorite thing is the integrity of the company. They make a quality product and the company is, hands-down, the easiest vendor to work with,” she adds.
When asked if she has advice for other dealers Clarke responds, “Work with other dealers and not against them. If we become a united front and don’t undercut each other, we can only make things better for all of us.”
Join the Clarkes and the outstanding Signature Sales Team as they host a Nordic Truckload Sale this Friday through Sunday, September 15 – 17, 2017!
For more information, contact Signature Pools & Spas through the website. They can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
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